Indian Military Helicopters

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Mukesh.Kumar
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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 03 Sep 2020 23:13

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Vivek K wrote:The most ludicrous purchase is IA buying "6" apaches!! 6! It could have easily paid for the 15 unfinished LCHs and still had some change left over.


And that would have been an entire squadron of LCHs with money left over for weapons, maintenance and attrition reserves.

What attrition reserves are built into six airframes for a terrain as expansive as Ladakh and Tibet?


Welcome back Vivek. It's really been long and good to see you back.

Yes, things have been slow. No Arjuns- Rhino group in Ladakh, LCH still not inducted. Lots of gaps. But we will get there.

But good to have you back.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakarat » 03 Sep 2020 23:20

LCH LSP is already in production and it could be one of the reason for no urgency being shown to sign the contract as IAF will be getting them once complete even if they sign the contract today or tomorrow and a larger contract will also come after that

The present deployment is clear indication that the forces are happy with its capability and will be ordered in numbers

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 00:31

Kakarat wrote:LCH LSP is already in production and it could be one of the reason for no urgency being shown to sign the contract as IAF will be getting them once complete even if they sign the contract today or tomorrow and a larger contract will also come after that

The present deployment is clear indication that the forces are happy with its capability and will be ordered in numbers


Kakarat: no offense intended, but that is a significant leap of speculation for what we wish to be true and what we know for fact. The fact is that if HAL is like any other company, then it cannot go by assumption of sales to invest in large capital expenditure required to scale production to match a large order. In fact, it would irresponsible for it to do so, considering that we might just hear a thundering news one day that IAF/IA want more Apaches and will delay LCH acquisition for a few more years. Who would pay for the HAL investment in production facilities?

If the armed forces are happy with the LCH, they need to sign the dotted line and get HAL humming on producing. The money can follow up later if that is the issue. But at least a signed contract would formalize the HAL commitment. Right now it is all in proposal stage.

When it comes to acquiring home-grown systems, it is safe from experience to assume no sales rather than guaranteed sales. If HAL is proceeding forward at its own risk, I say kudos to them, but I still would push for the forces to formalize their commitment (if one exists for the LCH).

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 04 Sep 2020 00:36

vivek_ahuja wrote:If the armed forces are happy with the LCH, they need to sign the dotted line and get HAL humming on producing. The money can follow up later if that is the issue. But at least a signed contract would formalize the HAL commitment. Right now it is all in proposal stage.

When it comes to acquiring home-grown systems, it is safe from experience to assume no sales rather than guaranteed sales. If HAL is proceeding forward at its own risk, I say kudos to them, but I still would push for the forces to formalize their commitment (if one exists for the LCH).

It is not the armed forces but the MoD which is holding up procurement. They spent a long time negotiating the contract price with HAL for a mere 15 LCH units. Even that was supposedly done a while back. Now we are waiting on the baboos to finish whatever other paperwork and procedures they need to before a contract can be signed....if there is any money left in the bank. Same is the case with the 83 Mk1A order. Looking at defence procurement in India for too long can drive anyone to depression.

Remember for the bureaucracy, the procedures are not a means to an end but an end in itself. The actual end of building/buying equipment is merely a side effect of that which only the Armed forces are interested in. Not the MoD. The MRCA fiasco was the best example of this. All procedures followed to a T and everything filed in triplicate. A complete success for the MoD and MoF. Disaster for the IAF.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakarat » 04 Sep 2020 00:48

vivek_ahuja wrote:
Kakarat wrote:LCH LSP is already in production and it could be one of the reason for no urgency being shown to sign the contract as IAF will be getting them once complete even if they sign the contract today or tomorrow and a larger contract will also come after that

The present deployment is clear indication that the forces are happy with its capability and will be ordered in numbers


Kakarat: no offense intended, but that is a significant leap of speculation for what we wish to be true and what we know for fact. The fact is that if HAL is like any other company, then it cannot go by assumption of sales to invest in large capital expenditure required to scale production to match a large order. In fact, it would irresponsible for it to do so, considering that we might just hear a thundering news one day that IAF/IA want more Apaches and will delay LCH acquisition for a few more years. Who would pay for the HAL investment in production facilities?

If the armed forces are happy with the LCH, they need to sign the dotted line and get HAL humming on producing. The money can follow up later if that is the issue. But at least a signed contract would formalize the HAL commitment. Right now it is all in proposal stage.

When it comes to acquiring home-grown systems, it is safe from experience to assume no sales rather than guaranteed sales. If HAL is proceeding forward at its own risk, I say kudos to them, but I still would push for the forces to formalize their commitment (if one exists for the LCH).


See even i am not happy with whats happening and i will be happy to see a order for 150 than 15, but i have just said what i felt is the reason for no urgency being shown for signing the contract for 15 and also not justifying it. Though there are some systems which are delayed because of the forces not accepting them LCH is not one of them

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby k prasad » 04 Sep 2020 04:28

KSingh wrote:The army’s plan has always been to have 1 AH-64 squadron/unit Of 13 birds with each of the 3 strike corps, 3*13=39


Sheesh... 1 sqn of Attack Helos for an entire Corps of 20-45,000 soldiers, holding an area about as large as Ladakh is not a good look. For combined effective combined arms operations, my (fairly uninformed) estimate is that we should have an embedded sqn of attack helos at least at the Divisional level, and more for the Armored brigades.

My estimate is that with 12 Corps along our borders across the Northern, Eastern, and Western Commands, including the X Corps in Bathinda, XII Corps in Jodhpur, plus our 6th Mountain Division in Bareilly, and the Para Brigade, that's about 39 attack helos per unit (assuming an average of 3 infantry + armored Divisions per Corps), that would ideally mean we need closer to 500 Attack Helos.

Even if we rationalise that number somewhat, I think we should be looking at nothing less than 200-250 of these helos (Apache + LCH) in service between the IAF and the IA . It does seem like we'll eventually get somewhere close to that 250 number with the 114 LCHs + 6 Apaches to the Army, 65 LCH + 22 Apaches to the Air Force, which will give us a force of 207 Attack Helos.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 04 Sep 2020 04:47

k prasad wrote:...
My estimate is that with 12 Corps along our borders across the Northern, Eastern, and Western Commands, including the X Corps in Bathinda, XII Corps in Jodhpur, plus our 6th Mountain Division in Bareilly, and the Para Brigade, that's about 39 attack helos per unit (assuming an average of 3 infantry + armored Divisions per Corps), that would ideally mean we need closer to 500 Attack Helos.

Even if we rationalise that number somewhat, I think we should be looking at nothing less than 200-250 of these helos (Apache + LCH) in service between the IAF and the IA . It does seem like we'll eventually get somewhere close to that 250 number with the 114 LCHs + 6 Apaches to the Army, 65 LCH + 22 Apaches to the Air Force, which will give us a force of 207 Attack Helos.

Sir, here we are agonizing over an order for 15 LCH which seems forever in the future and you are talking about 200 :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby k prasad » 04 Sep 2020 04:49

Haha... just to show how far we are from where we need to be, I guess. Although the constant talk of 114 + 65 LCHs has gotten my hopes up somewhat.

But but but... even with 200+ numbers, we are still at half the numbers that I think we need!

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby pushkar.bhat » 04 Sep 2020 09:38

I agree LCH should go into mass production and plans for Mark 2 and Mark 3 with Longbow and Hellfire equivalents and beyond should get rolling.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vivek_ahuja » 04 Sep 2020 10:05

If the IA is purchasing Hellfires for the handful of Apaches, then they should absolutely be integrated with the LCH for the day when the Apaches are out of action or are not available given their very limited numbers.

So aside from the delays in locking down the 15 LCHs, have the armed forces at least made a decision for which ATGM to use for the LCH? Helina, Hellfire, Spike? Isn't that something they should have decided by now?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Raghunathgb » 09 Sep 2020 12:28

https://twitter.com/HALHQBLR/status/130 ... 47136?s=19

HAL’s Indigenous LUH Completes Hot and High Altitude Trials in Himalayas

Image

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Bharadwaj » 09 Sep 2020 12:50


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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Bharadwaj » 09 Sep 2020 13:01

I understand that there might be strategic reasons for the ka 226 deal but perhaps we need to look beyond that and focus singularly on the LUH. Great achievement by the HAL team.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kartik » 09 Sep 2020 17:03

Congratulations to HAL! Hopefully the orders for 187 LUH are placed soon and those for Ka-226T also get added on later. If our indigenous LUH can do all the tasks asked of it, then there is no need for an imported helo to be license built in India, needlessly complicating logistics, maintenance and training.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 09 Sep 2020 18:04

Raghunathgb wrote:https://twitter.com/HALHQBLR/status/1303576985411547136?s=19HAL’s Indigenous LUH Completes Hot and High Altitude Trials in Himalayas


Congratulations to Hari Nair and his colleagues for the wonderful achievement. I hope all test points were successfully achieved.

Kartik wrote:Hopefully the orders for 187 LUH are placed soon and those for Ka-226T also get added on later. If our indigenous LUH can do all the tasks asked of it, then there is no need for an imported helo to be license built in India, needlessly complicating logistics, maintenance and training.

True. Especially since the Russians are not forthcoming with ToT and the Ka-226 barely has any users anywhere including Russia.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Anujan » 09 Sep 2020 21:46

A civilian version will have a big market in India I think. Is one planned?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby putnanja » 10 Sep 2020 13:41

What is the increase in payload of LUH at siachen compared to Cheetah? From Sonam post for e.g.?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby pankajs » 10 Sep 2020 13:45

Anujan wrote:A civilian version will have a big market in India I think. Is one planned?
Think that would be the natural progression.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Bharadwaj » 10 Sep 2020 18:22

putnanja wrote:What is the increase in payload of LUH at siachen compared to Cheetah? From Sonam post for e.g.?


That information may be too sensitive for public consumption. I however wonder why the hot high tests had to be re done for the Army? The Air force found the results last year to be good enough for the IOC. The HAL press release appears to put any lingering doubts to rest. Let us hope all sqrs were met and the orders will flow soon.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 11 Sep 2020 09:27

Bharadwaj wrote:I however wonder why the hot high tests had to be re done for the Army? The Air force found the results last year to be good enough for the IOC. The HAL press release appears to put any lingering doubts to rest. Let us hope all sqrs were met and the orders will flow soon.


I am generically writing this to help people decipher press releases. Its not connected to the LUH.

Typically, when a press release comes out, XYZ successfully completes trials, typically readers get optimistic confirmation bias on reading the word successfully and believe that XYZ passed trials. However, there is a big difference between the word completes and passed.

Its like "Student successfully completes examination". What it means is that student has successfully completed the process of examination.

What it means is student successfully left home, went to examination center, got the question paper, attempted questions, submitted answer sheet and came home.

"Student successfully completes examination" is absolutely no indication of whether student got the answers right or passed.

Similarly XYZ successfully completes trials indicates the process of trials has been successfully completed but not an accurate indicator of whether all performance specifications have been met.

BR members misled by the press release start wondering why there are repeat trials and feel frustrated.

Its because some performance specifications have not been met in the earlier trials and hence the student has to appear for re-examination.

Another common press release is missile successfully launched. Again on reading the word successfully an optimistic confirmation bias is created and readers miss the word launched used with successfully.

What it means is that the missile left the launcher successfully. It does not indicate missile guided successfully, covered distance to the target, seeker detected target, warhead fused and operated properly destroying the target.

successfully tested means the process of testing has been successful and not an indicator of whether all test points have been met.

Misreading such press releases makes people suffer from frustration when repeat trials are held. And in India, instead of digging the truth, people start creating conspiracy theories :(

BTW this true across foreign, private, PSU press releases. Foreign & private press releases are even more colourful. We had a Canadian gentleman on Bharat Rakshak forums who exposed many exaggerations around C-17 rough field capabilities when its acquisition by IAF was underway.

One of the advertised capabilities of C-17 was its ability to land in rough fields. While its load carrying capacity is impressive, I've not seen it landing in rough fields in IAF service.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Bharadwaj » 11 Sep 2020 10:32

Tsarkar Saar most of us can see through the corporate wriggle room written into press releases. However the latest one has a statement from Mr Madhavan clearly stating that the Army version is now ready for certification. He is not going to say this if he is not reasonably sure that the LUH passed the tests. Nonetheless we will only know for sure if there is no further hot high tests next year and the order is processed.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby nachiket » 11 Sep 2020 11:01

We need some quick decision making in MoD for once to with quick orders for this helo at least limited ones for re-equipping IAF's 114HU (Siachen Pioneers) and whichever AAC unit also flies Cheetah's to Siachen. They definitely need the LUH earlier than anyone else.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ks_sachin » 11 Sep 2020 11:34

nachiket wrote:We need some quick decision making in MoD for once to with quick orders for this helo at least limited ones for re-equipping IAF's 114HU (Siachen Pioneers) and whichever AAC unit also flies Cheetah's to Siachen. They definitely need the LUH earlier than anyone else.


quick decision making in MoD = Oxymoron

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby tsarkar » 11 Sep 2020 13:31

Bharadwaj wrote:Tsarkar Saar most of us can see through the corporate wriggle room written into press releases. However the latest one has a statement from Mr Madhavan clearly stating that the Army version is now ready for certification. He is not going to say this if he is not reasonably sure that the LUH passed the tests. Nonetheless we will only know for sure if there is no further hot high tests next year and the order is processed.

Totally agree, which is why I said its not related to LUH in the first sentence. What I would have loved is if the statement mentioned "all test points and performance criteria have been achieved"

Also the Ka-226 doesnt have enough orders in its home country or elsewhere, so its an unknown entity whereas the LUH is a known entity.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Prem Kumar » 11 Sep 2020 15:00

Some of the language in DRDO Techfocus is even more opaque. Achievement section would say things like: "Air launched article was realized"

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby darshan » 11 Sep 2020 15:16

Need to resort to getting customers to fix what your company won't fix. In this case, customers being Indian voters and company being bureaucracy. Institutional corrections need to start coming out as election manifestos. There needs to be more retired folks from Indian military talking and explaining things to Indian citizens in layman's terms. The news media should have been going after all this delays and acquisition process issues but isn't touching the subject. Since the border conflict started, by now news media should have had every single major weapons program that's stuck analyzed along with reasons for being stuck and involved parties, processes, etc. Only customers can fix things that can't be fixed internally.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby darshan » 11 Sep 2020 15:17

Prem Kumar wrote:Some of the language in DRDO Techfocus is even more opaque. Achievement section would say things like: "Air launched article was realized"

Sounds like goals and accomplishments that I used to having to write.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cyrano » 11 Sep 2020 15:33

I remember the voice over from the control center referring to the HSTDV referring to it as "the article" in the video :)

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Kakarat » 12 Sep 2020 14:29


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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Bharadwaj » 12 Sep 2020 15:03

Wow... a true life changing moment for the cheetah and chetak pilots. I hope we do not see a multi year wait for the orders.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vivek_ahuja » 12 Sep 2020 21:05

putnanja wrote:What is the increase in payload of LUH at siachen compared to Cheetah? From Sonam post for e.g.?


Here's a link to the theoretical analysis I had done back in the day for the LUH: The Beta Coefficient Blog

Use this plot to extrapolate the payload capacity for a given altitude. Read the article above to see what these curves represent and how to read them. Subtract the pilot weight, fuel and other misc. items from the payload capacity and the rest is actual cargo/passenger payload.
Image
Image

Then go and check available records for Cheetah payload capacity for said altitudes. It is a measurable improvement.

Wow... a true life changing moment for the cheetah and chetak pilots. I hope we do not see a multi year wait for the orders.


That is the elephant in the room, isn't it? With Indian home-grown products, the pain does not happen as much in the tech development as it does when it comes to the forces accepting the product rapidly and the GoI sealing the deal.

Look at the speed of the decision-making for the LCH's primary ATGM system...

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby raghuk » 13 Sep 2020 09:38

Ahuja sir, I have a question. In your analysis, have the blade properties of individual helicopters been considered? I'm not questioning your analysis but was just curious to know the methodology. Thank you and I really loved your analyses.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Khalsa » 13 Sep 2020 16:13

vivek_ahuja wrote:Look at the speed of the decision-making for the LCH's primary ATGM system...


could you elaborate more on this please if you know anything more than the usual we already know of ?
any juicy technical bits that are delaying this more than what we alrready know ?

Thank you & Good to see you back Vivek

Regards
A big fan of your books and blogs.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vivek_ahuja » 13 Sep 2020 21:37

raghuk wrote:Ahuja sir, I have a question. In your analysis, have the blade properties of individual helicopters been considered? I'm not questioning your analysis but was just curious to know the methodology. Thank you and I really loved your analyses.


Consider this analysis more theoretical. It is more of a power and energy analysis than a detailed aero analysis. The blade properties are hard to obtain in any case. What the charts show here is the theoretical limits based on the available engines and general size and shape characteristics. In other words, the real-world performance is probably going to be noisy and below these clean thresholds. But they give you a general idea of the differences between the individual helicopters on a trendline.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby vivek_ahuja » 13 Sep 2020 21:40

Khalsa wrote:
vivek_ahuja wrote:Look at the speed of the decision-making for the LCH's primary ATGM system...


could you elaborate more on this please if you know anything more than the usual we already know of ?
any juicy technical bits that are delaying this more than what we alrready know ?


Unfortunately, no. As far as I am aware, HAL has demonstrated that the LCH can carry pretty much any ATGM system that the IAF and IA wants. Now the onus is on the latter to specify which system they want. They haven't done so. This means the LCH today sits without a dedicated ATGM weapon.

At the same time, both IAF and IA continue to import Hellfire missiles for their handful of Apaches. You can see where I am going with this. If the Hellfires are already in the inventory, what is preventing the IAF/IA from specifying to HAL that this is the same ATGM they want on the LCH? Alternatively, if this is an issue because of technical reasons (U.S. Government displeasure, for example), then why not choose from a plethora of available options and get HAL started on it?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 15 Sep 2020 07:08

Vivek Ahuja, The 6 Apaches is on.top of the 22 Apaches. While it looks pathetic these are for Paki Armored brigades.

Now we find them.flying in Ladakh.

And all don't fret about the 15 LCH. They and more will be bought in December.

I like the idea of integrating the Hellfire on LCH as early capability while waiting for Nag derivative.

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 15 Sep 2020 07:08

Hari Nair What is needed for that please?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Cybaru » 15 Sep 2020 08:27

ramana wrote:
And all don't fret about the 15 LCH. They and more will be bought in December.



Whats the special about December? Why wait till December?

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby ramana » 15 Sep 2020 10:04

Money

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Re: Indian Military Helicopters

Postby Hari Nair » 15 Sep 2020 10:55

ramana wrote:Hari Nair What is needed for that please?

Saar,
The work content for Hellfire integration should not be too much.

As I had posted earlier, each weapon usually comes with its own set of unique Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), even though the missile may be compatible to slap onto the LCH weapon pylon. Some amount of re-cabling is required for those LRUs. IIRC, the Hellfire comes in two versions - laser & RF guided. If RF, then some additional LRUs, etc need integration.

Some flight trials to confirm separation characteristics and of course, firing trials from the LCH will be required.

As other forum members had already pointed out, the need of the hour is to take that decision! The rest will follow.
Last edited by Hari Nair on 15 Sep 2020 11:05, edited 1 time in total.


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